Progress in the UK

Via the Telegraph, a private members bill has passed that would block the automatic disqualification of serving on a jury, being an MP or being a  company director. Excerpt:

Chloe Smith, a Cabinet Office minister, confirmed that the Government was giving its “full backing” to the Bill.

“It cannot be right that in the 21st century it is possible for somebody to be automatically expelled from this place, from the House of Commons, because they have had a mental illness,” she said.

“It sends out entirely the wrong message that if you have mental health problems, your contribution is not welcome in public life, not only for the House of Commons but of course also on a jury and in a directorship.”

In Canada, I was up for jury selection and would have qualified except I had an exemption because I was in school. If I had UK citizenship, I guess I could still serve as an MP even without this bill passing, as I have never been sectioned. Even so, to remove MPs automatically from parliament not only sends the wrong message but robs the UK legislatures of input from a underrepresented community.  This is good news for everyone and I am glad the major three political parties backed this private members bill in this rare case and are helping to make it the law in the United Kingdom.


About Neil

I happen to have paranoid schizophrenia. But that is only a small part of who I am. I define me, not my illness. I always try and choose hope and choose to be a better person, though like all people, I have more than a few failures. Some have been rather spectacular.
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